More than a dozen people were arrested in Bogota on 14 March, after a protest against the ride-sharing app Uber turned violent, clogging streets in the Colombian capital as riot police responded with tear gas. Thousands of taxi drivers marched on downtown Bogota, creating congestion in the bustling capital city. Tensions frayed with vehicles being attacked, and riot police moved in – four of whom were injured.
An unidentified taxi driver said the taxi drivers were out on the streets to protest what he said was Uber's unfair competitive advantage in Colombia, claiming Uber drivers are exempt from the high fees taxis pay. "Given the fact that we have to pay our insurance. Why do we have to pay for three insurance [policies] and they don't. They're illegal vehicles. They don't pay insurance," he said.
Last week, Colombian authorities slapped Uber with a 450 million peso fine (£99,700, $142,000) on the California-based company for providing "unauthorised" transportation services. Uber is banned outright in most of Western Europe. In Australia, Uber is popular but has several court challenges looming.
That's on top of the challenge to its business model that Uber faces in its home state of California, where a class action lawsuit could force the company to treat its contract drivers as employees. But despite setbacks, Uber has moved quickly in its global expansion and it is now in some 60 countries after being founded in 2009.